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Assessing antibiotic usage data capture accuracy on dairy farms in England and Wales

Strang, Camilla; Alarcon, Pablo; Cardwell, Jacqueline; Brunton, Lucy


Camilla Strang

Pablo Alarcon

Jacqueline Cardwell

Lucy Brunton


Background: Accurate farm-level data on antibiotic usage (ABU) are needed for surveillance of antibiotic resistance. The study aim was to determine the accuracy of ABU data capture by dairy farmers in South West England and Wales.
Methods: Through a cross-sectional survey of 48 dairy farmers, accuracy of ABU recording was measured by farmers’ assessment of completeness and timeliness of ABU recording (‘perceived accuracy’), and completeness and correctness of on-farm ABU records (’actual accuracy’). Completeness and correctness were compared for paper and software recording methods.
Results: Perceived accuracy was higher than actual accuracy. Antibiotic name, withdrawal periods and dates products were fit for human consumption were often incomplete or incorrect. More inaccuracies were seen with paper than software. In some software platforms the date milk would be fit for human consumption was frequently rounded down by half a day, increasing the risk of residue failures.
Limitations: The small number of on-farm records assessed limits generalizability of the results.
Conclusions: Electronic recording of ABU should be encouraged. However, functionality needs improvement alongside consultation with dairy farmers to increase awareness of inaccuracies.


Strang, C., Alarcon, P., Cardwell, J., & Brunton, L. (2023). Assessing antibiotic usage data capture accuracy on dairy farms in England and Wales. Veterinary Record,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 21, 2023
Online Publication Date Oct 10, 2023
Publication Date Oct 10, 2023
Deposit Date Sep 25, 2023
Publicly Available Date Oct 11, 2023
Print ISSN 0042-4900
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Publisher URL


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